Reeds Spring city administrator Bill Bell was recently appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Stone County Enhanced Enterprise Zone.
In August of 2013, the General Assembly passed a state law that offers tax incentives to companies that bring new industry or expands business to areas that are blighted or affected by "pervasive poverty".
"I have been attending the EEZ meetings for a few months now to get an understanding of how the board works and what they are doing," said Bell. "Having done so, it is also my understanding that the Board is being transformed to the broader scope of economic development, which would not be as narrowly focused as EEZ.
Businesses that bring new or upgraded industry to EEZ's receive up to five years of tax credits. In order to receive tax credits the business must create or expand their business by employing two new employees and making a $100,000 new investment in the EEZ or a $1,000,000 new investment for a replacement business. The company is also required to offer health insurance, which the business must pay at least 50% of the premium of all full time employees.
"EEZ is a tool for economic development, and if Reeds Spring is to progress and be enabled to meet the needs of its citizens, then it must generate additional revenues in order to meet those needs," Bell said.
"Obviously, I will also be advocating for some, but not all of those businesses to locate in Reeds Spring. As we know, not all the businesses that seek to locate here will be a good fit with our city, but may be a very good fit with Crane, Galena, Blue Eye, Kimberling City, Branson West, Hurley, or the Village of Indian Point. It is my hope to develop the relationships required to entice these business's to Stone County so that we might improve the services of all the municipalities within the County, services performed by the County itself, and to increase the quality of life and standard of living of all residents of Stone County in general and Reeds Spring specifically."